3rd Grade Retention and Ability Grouping Tradeoffs


FAILED1The Florida School Board Association (FSBA) is shifting ground on third grade student retention criteria.    Such issues make me think about ability grouping in general.  Are we going overboard?

Are we putting huge pressure on kids not only to ‘get to grade level’ but also to be ‘gifted’ or ‘highly gifted’?  Do all children feel like they have a FSA proficiency level painted on their T-shirts?  This is an age old issue of grouping and tracking vs. diverse ability classrooms where children have different strengths and weaknesses regardless of “I.Q.” as measured by a test?

The FSBA wants more evidence than a single test score to determine student achievement.  Fair enough, but there is more to think about!  In a newly adopted platform, the FSBA calls for three revisions to current practice in retaining third graders:


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We are the Enemy? Maybe So!


Richard Corcoran sees the enemy and it is us, he says.  Corcoran’s speech to the legislature tried to capture the moral high ground.  He spoke of family struggles and successes.  He called for measures to control undue collusion between legislators, lobbyists and special interests.  And then, he got down to business.   He specifically turned to privatization of education and health care.





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More Time in School: Some Districts Manage It

time-1738081_1280There are solutions to complex problems.  Take for example the issue of not enough time.  We all experience this concern but for children, it can impact their entire lives.  Over and over again we hear that children need more time in school.  Parents too have concerns about child care while they are working.

School time and work time do not match.  Everyone knows something should be done, but time costs money.  Here’s an example from the Christian Science Monitor that describes how a school was able to solve the time problem.  They managed it differently.  Read the story here.  This is a fundamental change but a feasible one.  IT COULD SOLVE MANY FRUSTRATIONS IN OUR DAILY LIVES and help children learn.


K-12 Education Projected to Lose in Florida Funding Battle

power-money-trap-5441169The Ocala Star Banner reports that funding priorities are changing.  PreK 12 has received small increases in per student funding for the past couple of years.  Florida is almost back to 2008 levels, if you do not count the increase in costs due to inflation.  (The Consumer Price Index during that period rose 12.72%.)   In the next legislative session, incoming Senate President Joe Negron has already announced his plan to increase budgets for colleges and universities, but not for K12.  Richard Corcoran, incoming Speaker of the  House has made his priorities clear.





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